Science appears to be one step closer to a potential cure for pancreatic cancer as scientists have revealed that they are close to a blood test for this disease.
Early results published in the journal, Nature showed the test was 100% accurate.
Thus, by the time people become unwell, the cancer has often spread around the body and become virtually untreatable.
But the test, which the scientists describe as "a major advance", hunts for tiny spheres of fat that are shed by the cancers.
Experts said the findings were striking and ingenious, but required refinement before they could become a cancer test.
The study was carried out by scientists at Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas
According to Dr Raghu Kalluri, one of the researchers,
"We think the ability to identify and isolate cancer exosomes is a major advance and provides the possibility of immensely benefiting our patients."
He further acknowledged that clinical symptoms of pancreatic cancer in patients arise late and the tools to track disease before and after therapy and during remission and relapse are not good.
Thus having "having a reliable biomarker with the ability to identify mutations is of great value" although it is not clear how early it could pick up the cancer.
Other scientists also acknowledged the brilliance and accuracy of the test, adding that more work needed to be done however.